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As I had mentioned, I took a trip to New Jersey’s The Pub on Tuesday night for my grandfather’s and uncle’s birthdays (which are only a day apart)…my family has been going to The Pub since I was little, and I always found the place rather unsettling…the place has been around for a billion years, though I guess I never understood what I didn’t like about it until this past visit…

Sure, the abundance of taxidermy on the walls and the lousy food selection were easy to recognize as possible offenders, but what’s truly wrong with this place is a little more subtle…Much like Kutscher’s in the Catskills (former annual home to the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conference, which I subjected myself to a year or so ago), The Pub was evidently built with high hopes…one need only look around to find instances where the management attempted to make their establishment as classy as possible, but never got the chance to attract the classy crowd (or, if they did, that era quickly faded)…the whole over-the-top-ness of the place is a prime example, with a sprawling dining area, up-close brick ovens, a cocktail lounge and even a coat check…clearly, the original owners wanted this place to be a destination, where people would stay all night and wouldn’t dare show up without a jacket and tie…

Times have changed, but The Pub has unfortunately not…however, like an archaeological excavation, The Pub retains many remnants that give clues to its past…signs with a recurring “Mr. Pub Says” theme are plastered around everywhere, ostensibly to show off the owner’s sense of humor and desire for continuity…one such sign is by the aforementioned coat check (which, despite its elaborate conveyor, has long been out of use)…

Day 259 – April 29th, 2008 Welcome to this location

In case you can’t make out all of it, it says “Mr. Pub says ‘Positively no tipping for parking lot or cloakroom services. If you still feel you ‘must’ we suggest you favor your pet charity”…damned if I know what that last part is supposed to mean…below each slot is the name of a “pet charity”, such as the American Heart Association…

I can imagine the person who came up with this idea: “Surely people will want to tip our valet and coat check employees at our fine establishment, and we cannot have that, can we?”…The Pub’s days are most certainly numbered…

It’s almost ironic that I have such an affinity for old-timey things yet am creeped out by The Pub…just the other day, Turner Classic Movies was showing “The Glenn Miller Story”, with James Stewart and Harry “Col. Potter” Morgan…what makes that film so neat is the appearance of real-life jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Cozy Cole and Gene Krupa alongside Stewart’s depiction of Miller…I was inspired to look up some music and try to play along with some of my Glenn Miller records…of course, jazz music is much harder to play along to than pop music, so I was unable to keep up…however, in searching for chords, I came across a very curious ad on the music site…

Day 260 – April 30th, 2008 Say, Chummy

I know, it’s not technically a picture, but nothing that took place on Wednesday was better than the prospect of somehow learning to play guitar like Glenn Miller…for those who might not be hep to the jive, Glenn Miller totally played trombone, not guitar, though I suppose if you’re looking for chords to someone’s music on the internet, it goes without saying that they were a guitar hero…meedly meedly meedly…

Thursday night, Dad and I went to the live satellite broadcast of This American Life…the event was taking place in New York, but was broadcast via state-of-the-art satellite technology to movie theaters across the country…the program consisted mostly of outtakes from the TV version of This American Life, though there were some other surprises thrown in as well…of course I really liked it, as a fan of both the radio and TV versions of the show, but Dad (who finds both versions particularly boring) enjoyed it as well…the stories themselves didn’t follow a particular theme like the regular shows do, so that led to an experience that remained fresh throughout…

Day 261 – May 1st, 2008 Felt Ira's Machine

If you were also at the event, let me know what you thought of it!

For some reason, I had an excessive amount of fun at XPN on Friday…my Y-Rock show went extremely well, as I got to play a lot of new things (such as new Elvis Costello, Stereolab and Phantom Planet), and played a lot of oddball older things (such as The Jam‘s final single and the most jarringly depressing Wilco song ever)…then when I came upstairs after my shift, I found that it was a “David Dye clears out all the unwanted CDs from his cubicle” day…I brought home albums from The Swimmers, The Magnetic Fields, Guy Forsyth and more (and a co-branded Y-Rock/British Sea Power t-shirt asking, “Do You Like Rock Music?”)…I didn’t go home after the work was done, since I was staying to see Was (Not Was) at World Cafe Live that night…

Every once in a while, I will think of how happy I am to be a fan of a certain band’s music…bands like Sparks, eels, and Wall Of Voodoo, that don’t have very many fans, but I count myself among those few…Was (Not Was) are also one of those bands…as I told David Was (who remarked that he was happy to see someone young like me at the show), I feel like I went through high school with a copy of Are You Okay? in my hand…they have always been a band that I can listen to no matter what mood I’m in (and that’s a rare characteristic for a band)…the group’s performance last night was easily one of the best shows I have seen so far this year (Carbon/Silicon only slightly holds that distinction…for now)…mixing songs from their early albums with material from their terrific new album, Boo!, the set was a non-stop avant-disco fest…even weirder songs like David‘s spoken-word beat poem “I Feel Better Than James Brown” were properly represented…the most animated character was co-lead singer (the band has three) Sir Harry Bowens, who happened to be standing right in front of me…

Day 262 – May 2nd, 2008 Tell me that I'm dreaming

After the show, I got my picture taken with David and Don Was and Sir Harry…they also signed some stuff!…it was so much fun, I listened to all of my Was (Not Was) records (and I do have all of them) today, and it was funk-rific…

We’re still recuperating from Passover, and Dad and I went to the supermarket for the second time since the end of the holiday…we got a few unnecessary things (like more cereal and Cake Batter-flavored ice cream), but we also got an interesting coupon when we went to the check-out…

Day 263 – May 3rd, 2008 onoz!

“Yes, just enter the PIN below to receive fabulous offers from the super-exclusive Morningstar Farms Insider club!”…um, damn…

Between that, the Glenn Miller guitar guide, and this, what has the advertising world come to?

Thank goodness I have no business in that business…

E.

Lyric of the Time:
I’m the trouble starter
Punkin’ instigator
I’m the fear addicted and danger illustrated

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~ by E. on May 4, 2008.

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